One common problem you would encounter in your tomato garden is a rot at the blossom end of the fruit. It would be best to prevent the bottom of your tomatoes from rotting, but once it has started, with simple measures, you can prevent it from happening again on the same plant.
So if you are asking how do I fix blossom end rot on my tomatoes, you have come to the right place. Before I get into all the details of how best to improve your plant’s harvest, lets first find out what causes blossom end rot on a tomato plant.
What is Blossom End Rot?
Most gardeners think that an insect or disease problem causes a blossom end rot; when it is an anomaly that occurs as a result of inadequate uptake of Calcium by the plant’s fruits and leaves. You mustn’t confuse this for calcium deficiency in the soil, as there are several reasons why the fruits and leaves may not be getting the required amount of Calcium to support healthy fruiting.
The reason for a discolored patch beneath the fruit could be in the flowering stage when leaves and fruits are competing for Calcium to aid in their development. While using slake lime and adding Calcium to the soil may help in restoring the mineral content of the earth, there are other tricks you can use to stop future occurrences.
Why your Tomatoes are not Receiving Calcium
If, after performing a soil test, and you find the calcium content of your soil to be just fine, you may find it challenging to know what exactly is happening in your garden. In most cases, your tomatoes will suffer from nutrient uptake problems when:
- The pH of the soil is low, thereby causing nutrient absorption problems
- There is excess nitrogen application resulting in poor nutrient uptake
- There is no enough water for the absorption of nutrients due to inconsistent watering.
How to Fix Blossom End Rot On Tomatoes?
You can follow any of the following methods outlined below if you notice the bottom of your fruits is darker than usual.
Keep Tabs on Nitrogen Application
While your plants need to get the right supply of nitrogen, you want to make sure you do not apply more than necessary. When too much of the nutrient is in the soil, it encourages the growth of leaves while making it hard for the fruits to get enough. If you apply fertilizer before planting, ensure you use a balanced feed and avoid applying them at the peak of summer when plants are likely to go into dormancy.
Don’t Allow the Plants Go Thirsty.
You should keep a watering schedule for your garden plant and stick to it. If you want your plants to be able to absorb nutrients properly, then you need to ensure the earth remains fertile. If you use an irrigation system in your garden, you would want to water deeply but less frequently so as not to waterlog the ground. Also, if you are using a container, you will need to water regularly, and it is best to use soaker hoses or drip watering instead of a foliar application for your tomatoes.
Mulch your Plants
Using organic mulch around your plant can help improve moisture retention. You don’t need to use too much; about three-inch of mulch is enough to get the job done. The standard mulch you can use is straw since it is readily available and can last a while. If you also have a weed problem in your garden, mulching will also get rid of it.
Stay Clear of the Plant Roots During Flowering
It is also necessary that you do not disturb the plant root once it starts to fruit. You will have to take extra care when weeding or to mulch your plant so as not to stress the soil. When there is too much activity on the earth, it can affect how the root absorbs nutrients. It is common during hot and dry weather for plant roots to undergo stress, which is why you need to water regularly.
Use the Right Fertilizer for Soil Amendments
If you need to amend the soil after performing a soil test, you should endeavor to use the right fertilizer in your garden. It is common to find substandard products in the market, so you want to do your research to make sure you end up with the best one. I recommend organic fertilizers always since they do not contain chemical compounds that can be harmful to you, your plants, and the environment.
If you are preparing to plant tomatoes in the planting season, you can prevent bottom end rot by using compost rich in Calcium to improve your soil nutrient. Another way is if you are using a container, to use a well-balanced potting soil, so plants don’t suffer from any deficiency as they flower.
Water regularly and use a rich mulch to improve moisture retention. Tomatoes require enough Calcium and would only be able to absorb it from the soil when it is moist.
As soon as you notice any discolored fruits, you should immediately remove them so as they can stop competing for nutrients with the healthy ones. If you have a backyard compost pile, you can add rotten fruits to it to improve the green materials in the mix.
It is also worth mentioning that there are varieties of tomato seeds that are resistant to bottom end rot, so you may want to consider getting those for the next planting season if you do not wish to suffer from the condition. You should also be aware that the rot does not spread amongst the fruits, as it is not a viral disease. It is only a condition that reduces your yield when it is time for harvest.
Do you grow tomatoes in your garden? Have you ever had to deal with bottom end rot? We will like to hear from you in the comment section.